Campus in the autumn

About us

The Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster is one of the largest departments of its kind in the UK. In the subject league tables, we are ranked

  • 3rd in the world for Linguistics in the QS World Subject Rankings 2024
  • 2nd in the UK for Linguistics in the Times and Sunday Times Good University 2024
  • 3rd in the Complete University Guide (CUG) 2025

For 50 years we have been known internationally for innovative qualitative and quantitative research on language that advances both theory and practical applications. We have a state-of-the-art phonetics laboratory and cutting-edge eye-tracking and EEG equipment for psycholinguistic research. We are one of the world’s top centres for corpus linguistics and its applications and we are internationally known for our work in fields such as critical discourse analysis, language testing, literacy research and cognitive linguistics. More recently, we have developed our expertise in sociophonetics, forensic linguistics, business communication and intercultural communication.

We are committed to high quality teaching - we like our students to have access to our research through our courses. New ideas and developments feed directly into what our students learn. Some of our staff have received awards for teaching and we constantly strive to improve.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF2021) Linguistics was submitted to Modern Languages and Linguistics. The department achieved the highest possible score for impact and was rated ‘outstanding’ for 100% of our research impact. Linguistics is also rated ‘world-leading’ for 100% of its research environment and ranked 2nd in the UK for overall research quality.

  • 100% of research impact rated 'outstanding'
  • 100% of research environment rated 'world-leading'
  • Ranked 2nd in the UK for overall research quality

The REF shows that Linguistics continues to be a large and diverse department in which nearly all staff both teach and do internationally-recognised research.

50 years of excellence

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of LAEL with us through a series of community events and public lectures. Stay tuned for the programme coming soon.

50th anniversary
Collection of Linguistics text books